recipe: Tomato-Zucchini Soup is tasty cool or warm
Peggy Lampman | Contributor
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I purchased a tiny tomato cookbook at a library sale last summer — I still prefer illustrated cookbooks to recipes I find online. I much prefer working from pulp than electronics; the recipes seem better tested. The author made a commitment to publishing, thus acknowledging the inability to make corrections at a later date.
This book is called "The Tomato Cookbook" (1994 edition), edited by Nicola Hill, and a part of a Basic Ingredients library.
Growing up, I watched my mother skin tomatoes for many recipes. I still skin tomatoes the same way: Bring a pot of water to a boil. Drop them into the boiling water about 2 minutes, depending on the size and ripeness of the tomato, or boil until the skin puckers. Remove with a slotted spoon. When cool enough to handle, the skins should slide easily off. My mom made a criss-cross in the top of each tomato, but I've found that's not necessary.
The cookbook says to serve the soup cold, but it was equally delicious warm. When hot I prefer without yogurt, when chilled it's best to stir a bit in. I also added leeks, which were a marvelous addition.
Active Time: 30 minutes
Time to Chill (if serving chilled): 4-24 hours
Yield: 4 servings
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 cup finely diced leek
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons tomato paste, extra strength if possible
2 pounds of tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped*
3 cups vegetable or chicken stock
2 zucchini, (1-1 1/2 pounds total); trimmed and coarsely shredded
Fistful of torn or chopped basil, plus leaves for garnish, if desired (optional)
3 tablespoons plain yogurt, optional
*See above text for easy ways of peeling tomatoes
1. Heat the oil over medium-low in a heavy-bottomed stockpot. Add leeks with a pinch of kosher salt and sautÃ© until just beginning to soften, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook 1 minute. Stir in tomato paste, tomatoes and stock. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low, simmering the soup about 10 minutes.
2. Ladle soup into a food processor or blender, and purÃ©e until smooth. Return to pot and stir in zucchini and basil, if using. Season to taste, if needed, with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Chill at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours.
3. Serve soup garnished with fresh basil leaves and a dollop of yogurt, if using.